City Life

Providence Answers the Call of Cthulhu

NecronomiCon returns for a weekend of weird inspired by the city's own master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft

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There’s going to be a whole lot of weird going on at this year’s NecronomiCon Providence, the biennial celebration of the work and life of H. P. Lovecraft that returns August 17–20.

This year’s iteration even goes beyond the father of weird fiction, adding lectures on the entire genre to expand on the event’s unique charm – though conference goers can still look forward to spirited games of Cthulhu Wars.

“This is not at all the classic kind of convention,” explains Niels Hobbs, director of NecronomiCon Providence. “We’re looking for Providence to be the capital for weird in the world.”

In addition to panels on all things Lovecraft, there will be discussions of classic authors of weird fiction (think Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe), contemporary genre authors such as Stephen King, and weird fiction pop culture. A panel for guests of honor, ranging from scholars to artists, will highlight the genre’s diverse audience. The convention has even appointed a poet laureate: Donald Sideny-Fryer, a nationally renowned performer of medieval romantic poetry.

Those looking forward to NecronomiCon’s signature Armitage Symposium won’t be disappointed. This year’s conference welcomes 32 historians, scientists and other experts to discuss the lasting influence of Lovecraft’s mythology. Also on the agenda are film screenings, gaming gatherings, a vendor hall and Ars Necronomica, an exhibition featuring works of both established and up-and-coming artists who “put form to the unnameable and indescribable.” There’s also the (masquerade) Eldritch Ball, which is best enjoyed in Lovecraft-era garb. Parties and concerts across the city will bring together those who have traveled from around the globe to attend – the last NecronomiCon in 2015 welcomed fans from 18 countries and five continents. As Niels points out, the conference is as much “about Providence as it is about Lovecraft or any weird fiction author.”